MyPlate on My Budget: Good food costs money

Last March I fed my family on $144.80 a week as part of the MyPlate on My Budget experiment. Could I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients? The answer was yes, but it took a big toll on everyone.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that most people are extremely reluctant to share what they spend on groceries each month. The exception is people who are spending a ridiculously low about, like $300 a month for a family of six.

Food is really expensive and I’m wondering if many people, (like me), feel guilty when they get to the cash register.

Don’t feel guilty!

If the MyPlate on My Budget experiment taught me anything, it’s that quality food costs more because it’s inherently worth more. Washington apples vs. New Zealand apples; Oregon shrimp vs. farmed shrimp from Thailand; freshness comes with a price AND a reward.

Filling your kids up with healthy snacks they actually like, means they might have better behavior. That’s worth it, right?

My first shopping trip back from my experiment I went to Whole Foods. Click on the picture and you can look at what I bought (and what I spent). If you add in the cost of the Silvana meat I still have in the freezer, I spent about $190 on groceries for my family of four this week.

My purchases included two gallons of organic milk, lots of fresh veg for making green smoothies, GF yummies for mom, and the ingredients for a homemade pizza my son needs to make for a Cub Scouts requirement. I also bought a bunch of crackers, because we are all out. (That has been a major source of grumbling this past month.)

$190 a week on (mostly) organic groceries for a family of four? That’s not bad!

I could easily have spent more than that if I wasn’t careful, or if I was trying to exactly follow the Choose MyPlate requirements. But $190 was enough that I could buy food for a week that my family would actually eat.

Rose McAvoy has some thoughts about saving money on groceries that you might want to check out.

In the meantime, I’m pouring myself another cup of coffee (with cream) and enjoying some GF pineapple cookies.

And I don’t feel guilty at all. This snack is worth it.

Follow MyPlate on My Budget on Pinterest.

More in Life

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Want to buy a house this year? Here’s how to start saving up

Here are five ways to help you put 10 percent of your income per year toward buying a house.

Long rocking bench with strange fence is for protecting baby

The settee is a furniture form that dates to the 1810s. It’s a lengthened Windsor or Hitchcock chair.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Night Circus

The Everett brewery’s head brewer had nightmares trying to dial in its new coffee and coconut ale.

A visit to the nursery helps put you in the mood to garden

Not ready to get back into gardening? January is still a fun time to poke around a garden center.

Plant of Merit: Hybrid oriental hellebores, Lenten rose

What: Oriental hybrid hellebores, with the common name Lenten rose, are a… Continue reading

Home and Garden calendar for Snohomish County and beyond

“The Promise of Spring”: Plant sale and workshops by Northwest Perennial Alliance,… Continue reading

‘Portlandia’ ending after eight seasons of lampooning hipsters

The sketch comedy series launched its final season this week.

Most Read